Governor Mark Dayton says he’ll announce tomorrow morning (Wed 10am) his choice to replace Senator Al Franken. It’s been nearly a week since Franken said last Thursday, “In the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.” The name of Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith comes up most frequently in speculation about Dayton’s choice of a replacement. But that has big political implications because the Republican president of the Minnesota Senate, Michelle Fischbach, would then become lieutenant governor. There are unconfirmed rumors that Dayton and Senate Republican leaders are trying to cut a deal that would result in a Democrat being lieutenant governor, if Smith is Dayton’s choice to replace Franken.
There’s also ongoing but unconfirmed speculation that Franken has delayed tendering his resignation because he wants to be involved in critical votes before year’s end, or in hopes that today’s controversial U-S Senate election in Alabama will make Franken’s political position more tenable.